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New-Age Pedagogies– Revolutionizing the 21stCentury Classroom

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Schools nowadays are increasingly embracing innovative teaching methods to improve learning outcomes. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a range of technology-driven pedagogical approaches and initiatives have emerged that are poised to transform the traditional educational model. New-age pedagogies are positively shaping educational practices in groundbreaking ways. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are proving to be effective educational tools for both teachers and students. An augmented reality experience combines dynamic digital information with physical environments to allow students to interact with virtual objects in real-time. Likewise, VR makes learning a more enjoyable experience by giving lectures a new dimension through virtual experiences. For a comprehensive understanding of the benefits of the new-age teaching-learning models, let’s dive deeper into the pedagogical innovations transforming Indian classrooms. 

By- Ms. Nidhi Tewari, Principal, Ridge Valley School, Gurugram

Flipped classroom: The flipped classroom model is gradually replacing traditional methods of teaching and learning by emphasizing the development of students’ understanding of diverse topics and concepts while in class. Flipped classrooms are ideal for developing students’ cognitive thinking skills and creating engaging learning experiences. These classrooms rely primarily on audiovisual technology. Lessons delivered by teachers are replaced with instructional material, usually prerecorded video content powered by AR and VR or podcasts that students can watch at home. The following day, they apply what they learned in class through practical activities (which could have served as homework), guided by their teachers. Flipped classrooms facilitate self-paced learning so that slow learners can progress at their own pace. Moreover, students who are unable to attend the class for various reasons can make up for lost time quickly and stay on track with flipped classes. 

Schools adopting a flipped learning model are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help learners improve their skills. An AI-driven flipped classroom model empowers teachers to pay equal attention to both fast and slow learners. It also helps students stay on track by alerting teachers to problems that might otherwise go unnoticed. Additionally, AI allows teachers to create relevant study material for students while ensuring a tailored learning experience.

A flipped learning model alsoprovides parents with 24/7 access to the study material that is delivered by teachers, thus, enabling them to assist their children in studies consistent with what is being taught in class. A flipped classroom is a blended learning model, as it aims to maximize the impact of face-to-face instruction by integrating technology.

Blended Classroom: Also known as a hybrid classroom, the blended model of teaching and learning is gaining significant traction in Indian schools. A hybrid classroom integrates face-to-face instruction with computer-mediated lessons. The concept of blended learning has been around for quite some time, but its use has been more prominent only after the pandemic. This dynamic teaching-learning model accommodates every kind of learner–whether they prefer learning in a classroom setting, online, or a combination of the two.

Some of the popular blended/hybrid learning methods are the face-to-face learning model (wherein lessons are delivered in person), game-based immersive VR-based learning (which leverages game-based immersive VR learning environment and elements such as scores and levels to teach different concepts), the rotation model of learning (which involves students moving between different learning activities, either in a traditional classroom setting or online through self-directed study), and the flex learning model (where students learn online but in a classroom setting).

Thematic-Based Learning: Learning is an integrated cognitive process during which the brain attempts to connect different experiences. Thematic-based approach emulates this natural process of learning. The thematic approach is a fun way to teach and learn as it brings together a variety of closely related contexts into a single lesson plan and helps students, especially toddlers, draw connections between different topics. In primary schools, this method of curriculum planning is widely used as it allows for a more natural and streamlined process of learning. Using this unique approach, teachers can stimulate students’ innate curiosity and help them explore topics that interest them deeply. Consequently, it helps students become more adept at problem-solving. Furthermore, it encourages students to think creatively, enabling them to apply their education to make a positive impact on the world.

Project-based Learning: This student-centered approach is gaining huge traction in the 21st-century classroom, allowing students to learn independently in a classroom setting under the supervision of their teachers. To thrive in the real world, bookish knowledge alone is not sufficient. In project-based learning, students gain practical knowledge and skills by examining, investigating, and responding to a real-life situation, a problem, or challenge that is both engaging and challenging.

Project-based learning is of two types–Activity-based learning and Problem-based learning. Activity-based learning is a proven way to develop students’ motor skills and social abilities. For example, a game can be designed with the purpose of teaching students, thus motivating them to grasp concepts and develop their problem-solving skills. A problem-based approach, on the other hand, involves students collaborating to find a solution to an open-ended problem together.

Tech-Driven Pedagogies Hold the Key to the Future of Education 

Given the numerous advantages of such innovative teaching-learning models in the 21st-century education world, it is logical to assume that such tech-driven pedagogies that motivate students to analyze, reflect, and apply different concepts that are revolutionizing the chalk-and-blackboard method of teaching in Indian classrooms. These new-age teaching-learning models emphasize experiential learning and have proved to be highly efficient and flexible during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. In light of their effectiveness, forward-thinking schools across the country have implemented such creative pedagogies even after resuming offline classes, thereby providing students with an engaging and meaningful learning experience. 

All things considered, it is fair to assume that the evolving use of tech-driven pedagogies is likely to remain at the forefront to help students transform into 21st-century learners by engaging them in technology-rich learning environments which are digital and interactive.

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